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Re: awareness + flexibility + security

From: Andre Caldas
Subject: Re: awareness + flexibility + security
Date: Mon, 14 Nov 2005 10:28:16 +0900
User-agent: Debian Thunderbird 1.0.7 (X11/20051017)

Marcus Brinkmann wrote:
Here is now my idea how this loophole could effectively be closed: If
a web service provider wants to use GPL software with modifications,
they have to release the source code.  Once the source code is
released, the FSF can offer as a service to sign binaries of the
source code releases.  Using these signatures, and the remote
attestion features of TC, the _users_ of these remote web services
could _verify_ that the remote server only runs free software in
implementing this service.

Similar services could be provided for embedded devices.  We know as a
fact that today this is a market segment where the GPL is frequently

I would probably not go so far as requiring such a signing process in
the license.  But it would put an enormous public pressure on web
services.  If they can prove for a small sum that they run only free
software, why would they not do so?

Because they value their privacy!? Something like the way you say you value your freedom. "If it is for free, and technologically better, why don't you take it?"

Also, I think it makes a lot of sense to look at TC and DRM
separately.  TC does effectively support as simple operations as
harddrive encryption on laptops.  Yes, these can be added in software
as well.  But I think this is undoubtly a positive use, not a negative
one.  Don't you agree?

Maybe I am making a basic mistake here, but it isn't _obvious_ to me
that the only uses are bad.

I don't think this should be a matter of: 'Is there any good uses?'
Probably people can come up with good uses for it easily. The problem here is:
        Is it possible to separate the good and bad uses?

Is it a trade? Do I have to agree with the 'bad uses' in order to have the 'good uses'? Here is an example:

Freedom in general is a good thing.

Let's suppose people have the right to not disclose their votes in an election. They may have the right to not disclose it, but at the same time, have the freedom to do so. That is, if it was my will, I would be able to show you my voter's card just before submitting it. This allows for what in Portuguese we call 'voto de cabresto'. (babelfish gave me: muzzle vote). Powerful people could use this to force other people to vote in a certain candidate. The 'freedom to show the card' would allow this for your vote to be checked. For this reason - at least in Brasil -, we do not only have the right to not disclose our vote. We are in fact forbidden to show the card.

The above is just a balance between 'the freedom to show the vote' and the 'right to not show the vote'. In association with some external power, 'the freedom to show the vote' in fact annihilates the 'right to not show the vote'. Is this right important?

Thinking about the above, I just realized that there are much simpler examples. The 'freedom to kill someone' and the 'right to live'. Is this freedom really important?

Andre Caldas.

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